The longtime owner of Judy’s Tack Shop pleaded no contest to a felony charge of grand theft for stealing saddles. Judy Mielenz entered the plea Thursday in a Marion County courtroom.
She was sentenced to two years probation and 40 hours community service at the Salvation Army Corrections. The judge withheld adjudication, which means her record was spared a felony conviction.
The court also ordered Mielenz not to “return to HITS Horse Show package receiving tent or area in Marion County.”
Mielenz was arrested in March in connection with the theft of two Antarès saddles. The box was delivered to the HITS Ocala office and was signed for by a HITS staff member. It disappeared before the Antarès rep made it to the office. Both saddles have been recovered.
The first was found at an Iowa hunter/jumper horse show in September 2011 where Mielenz was selling it on consignment. Mielenz supplied a consignment form for the saddle to investigators. The police report states the consignment letter “is believed to be a fraud.”
The second saddle was recovered in April. It was sold in May 2011 at the Brownland Farm Horse Show. Mielenz’s long-time customer traded a Butet saddle and paid almost $2,000 by check to Judy’s Tack Shop for the saddle according to authorities.
Judy’s Tack Shop is located in Tennessee and she has mobile units that travel to horse shows.